Indian textiles - an overview
Indian textiles - an overview


The Indian textile industry is one the oldest industries in the country and displays a very complex sectoral dispersal matrix with hand-spun and hand-woven sector on one end of the spectrum and the capital intensive sophisticated mill sector at the other, with the decentralised powerloom and knitting sectors coming in between. Even in the organised sector, ?island of excellence? exist, using highly sophisticated information technology based equipment with facilities for ERPSAP which are second to none in the world.

The fibre specific configuration of the textile industry includes almost all types of textile fibres from natural fibres like cotton, jute, silk and wool to syntheticman-made fibres like polyester, viscose, nylon, acrylic, polypropylene and the multiple blends of such fibres and filament yarns.

The diverse structure of the industry coupled with its close linkage with our ancient culture and tradition provides it with the unique capacity to produce, with the help of latest technological inputs and design capability, a wide variety of products suitable to the varying consumer tastes and preferences, both within the country and overseas. It is perhaps the only industry in the Indian industrial arena which is selfreliant and complete in value chain, i.e., from raw material to the highest value added products, i.e., garments made-ups.

The Indian textile industry has a significant presence in the Indian economy as well as in the international textile economy. Its contribution to the Indian economy is manifested in terms of its contribution to the industrial production, employment generation and foreign exchange earnings.

As per the data released by International Textile Manufacturers? Federation ( ITMF) for the year 1999, the Indian textile industry also contributes significantly to the world textile production capacity and availability of textile fibresyarns. This industry contributes about 21 per cent to the world spindlage and 6 per cent to the world rotorage. With China?s dismantling of 10 million spindles, India has emerged as a country with highest spindlage in the world. With almost 5.64 million looms (including 3.89 million handlooms), this industry has also the highest loomage (including handlooms) in the world and contributes about 57 per cent to the world loomage. Even excluding handlooms, the industry contributes 33 per cent to the world loomage.

The industry also contributes significantly to the world production of textile fibres and yarns including jute. In the world textile scenario, it is the largest producer of jute, second largest producer of silk, third largest producer of cotton and cellulosic fibreyarn and fifth largest producer of synthetic fibreyarn.

A study of the ITMF has also indicated that the industry enjoys comparative cost advantage in raw material cost and labour cost in the production of various textile items viz-a-viz major textile producing countries.

Growth of the industry.

India has already completed more than 50 years of its independence. The analysis of the growth pattern of different segment of the industry during the last five decades of post independence era reveals that the growth of the industry during the first two decades after the independence had been gradual, though lower and growth had been considerably slower during the third decade. The growth thereafter picked up significantly during the tourth decade in each and every segment of the industry. The peak level of its growth has however been reached during the fifth decade i.e., the last ten years and more particularly in the 90s.

The Textile Policy of 1985 and Economic Policy of 1991 focussing in the direction of liberalisation of economy and trade had in fact accelerated the growth in 1990s. The growth during this period was spearheaded by the spinning and man-made fibre industry in the organised sector and decentralised weaving sector. In the last about ten years from 1990-91 to 2000-01. The annual production of cotton from 117.00 lakh bales has now reached to 140.00 lakh bales.  Silk production increased from 12.56 million kgs to 15.86 million kgs.  Wool production increased from 42.70 million kgs to million kgs.  Man-made fibre production increased from 337.85 million kgs to 904.28 million kgs.

Simultaneously, with the growth in the production of textile fibres, the textile industry also achieved a remarkable growth: The number of spinning mills has risen from 777 in 1990-91 to 2561 (inclusive of SSI) in 2001, with increase in spindlage from 26.67 million to 37.91 million (including SSI); and rotorage to 4.54 lakh (inclusive of SSI) during the corresponding period.  As a consequence, the production of spun yarn has increased at the rate of about 5.65 per cent to 3160 million kgs in 2001, of which cotton yarn is about 72 per cent. The number of looms has increased from 13.13 lakh in 1991 to 18.02 lakh in 2001. During the period, loomage in the organised sector declined from 1.78 lakh to 1.40 lakh. Additionally handloom has grown to a loomage of 38.91 lakh taking the total loomage to 56.93 lakh.

Production of fabrics has grown from 23330 million sq mtrs to 40256 million sq mtrs during the period. With increase in the production of man- made fibres and fabrics, the mix has also been changed. Cotton, earlier was about 66 per cent of the fabric production, has fallen to 49 per cent, the balance coming from blended and synthetic fabric.  Fabric production profile, earlier showing 11 per cent as coming from the organised mills has changed with the growth of powerlooms to show 4 per cent from the mills, 59 per cent from powerlooms, 17 per cent from knitting and 19 per cent from handlooms.

Growth of Exports.

Through export friendly government policies and positive efforts by the exporting community, textile exports increased substantially from US$ 5.07 billion in 1991-92 to US$ 12.10 billion during 2000-01. The readymade garment sector is the biggest segment in the India?s textile export basket contributing over 46 per cent of total textile exports. Exports of cotton based items continue to pre-dominate which is natural in view of India?s competitive advantage in terms of cotton.

Textile trade, over the last decade has contributed substantially in realising India?s overall export trade. Its share in world textile trade has risen to 3.1 per cent in 1999-2000 as against 1.80 per cent in early nineties. Exports have grown at an average of 11 per cent per annum over the last few years, while world textile trade has grown only about 5.4 per cent per annum in the same years.

Perfomance of the Industry during the year 2000-01.

The growth of most segments of the industry during the year 2000-01 has been positive.
The production of cotton declined from 156 lakh bales in 1999-2000 to 140 lakh bales during 2000-01. Production of man-made fibre increased from 835 million kgs in 1999-2000 to 904 million kgs during the year 2000-01 registering a growth of 8.26%. Among the man-made fibres, polyester staple fibre is predominant fibre contributing about 63% of the total man-made fibre production; VSF, though registered the highest growth i.e., 17 per cent during last year.

The production of spun yarn increased to 3160 million kgs during 2000-01 from 3046 million kgs during 1999-2000 registering a growth of 3.7%.Among the spun yarn, cotton spun yarn is the predominant yarn contributing about 72% of the total spun yarn production in the country. The production of man-made filament yarn registered a growth of 2.91% during last year, increasing from 894 million kgs to 920 million kgs. Polyester filament yarn is the major filament yarn contributing about 89% of the total filament yarn production in the country.

The production of fabric registered a growth of 2.7% during last year, increasing from 39,208 million sq mtrs to 40,256 million sq mtrs. The production of mill sector declined by 2.6% while production of handloom, powerloom and hosiery sector increased by 2%, 2.7% and 5.1% respectively. The exports of textiles and garments increased from Rs. 455048 million to Rs. 552424 million, registering a growth of 21%.

The textile industry in our country is one of the few industries in the country which has the potential to emerge as a true global player. The Government has already embarked on a role of industry-friendly, pro-active ?facilitator?. Recognising the fact that industry needs a concerted strategy and time-bound action plan to convert its core competence in availability of all major raw materials, skilled manpower, managerial competence and entrepreneurial skill to a competitive strength as a producer and supplier of top quality textiles at competitive prices while protecting its domestic turf, the Government has initiated many policy measures. With the growing awareness in the industry of its strengths and weakness and the need for exploiting the opportunities and averting threats, coupled with the Government?s catalytic role, the Indian textile industry has the potential to scale new heights in the globalised economy.